Student Who Vandalized American Atheists’ Bench in Florida Apologizes

Yesterday, a student spat tobacco juice on the American Atheists bench in front of the Bradford County Courthouse in Florida, took a picture of it, and sent it to AA:

He added on Facebook:

AA said they would file a police report.

Today, that student has apologized:

Whether he was sincere or pressured into it doesn’t matter — hopefully, he learned a lesson from all this. That’s pretty much all we can ask for.

American Atheists has accepted his apology and urges people not to harass the student:

The vandal, Zach, has sent us an apology, which we have accepted.

We appreciate everyone’s support and completely understand and agree with your feelings about this — what he did was hurtful to our community and just reinforces the untrue idea that atheists are second-class citizens, worthy of contempt and ridicule, just because we do not believe in gods.

The vandal is just a teenager and he made a mistake. We ask people NOT to call or text him (his phone number has been leaked); two wrongs don’t make a right and this is not appropriate, either. Thank you for understanding.

We have asked him to clean up the monument and send us another picture of him with it to show us that he holds no ill-will against us. We’ll let you know when we hear back.

Thank you again for your support. – American Atheists

Perfect response from them. It would be nice if this is the worst thing that ever happens to that bench… but I’m not holding my breath.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Sweetredtele

    He has to be 18 to buy and use tobacco. He’s not 18? Then we know he already likes to break the law.

    • Mario Strada

      In hope he stops that filthy habit. Smoking is bad enough, but seeing a 15 yo chewing is even worse (Although, I never heard of “second hand spit, thankfully).

      • Stealth Avenue

        No but cancer of the mouth is a very real danger. Also, gross.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          My father had a benign, black tumor on his lip from that filth that he couldn’t afford to have removed. I think he was down to 16 teeth at best from it also. I suppose he was “lucky” that he died of quicker causes before he ended up having his jaw and/or tongue removed. That kid is screwed.

        • Artor

          A dear friend of mine died recently from cancer caused by a long habit of chewing. It was horrible to watch him wither and die like that.

      • Gadfly156

        I tried a pinch of that stuff ONCE, only ONCE when I was his alleged age (15). First and last time. It was so foul I had no desire to repeat the experience.

    • Jeff See

      I started to use tobacco at the age of 4 1/2. You think that made me a hardened criminal? Who provides children with tobacco? I think your assumption by association is quite erroneous.

      • Sweetredtele

        I didn’t make any assumptions. If he is not 18, then he is already breaking the law.

        • Jeff See

          It is against the law, to provide someone under the age of 18 with tobacco, via sale. That reads different, than if the law states that if you are under the age of 18, it is against the law to use. Which, (and I may be mistaken, given which state some may live in), it’s not. So if his dad lets him use the snuff his dad buys, no one has broken the law. This differs from alcohol, which minors are barred by law to purchase, possess, or use. So yes, you made an assumption, and yes, it was incorrect.

          • Sweetredtele

            You are mistaken. Try again. Possession of tobacco by minors is illegal in Florida. Providing tobacco products to minors is also illegal. You made the assumption, not me.

            http://www.cga.ct.gov/2005/rpt/2005-r-0269.htm

            Edit: Looks like he hangs with a few more lawbreakers then.

            • Jeff See

              I made the caveat in my statement that there might be localities where possession or use of tobacco products by minors, is against the law.

              The assumption that matters, and the assumption you made that I was addressing, is this: he is in possession of tobacco. He also vandalized, so that means he must just be a criminal, who enjoys breaking the law. You can only conclude that he has experience breaking the law. You cannot speak to how he perceives his actions, and you cannot brand an entire person on two items you know about. Has he exhibited criminal behavior? Yes. Does that mean he finds pleasure in breaking the law? I don’t know, and neither do you. Does he use snuff because it’s use brings him joy, or does him breaking the law to possess it bring him joy? Did he spit on the monument because he wanted to express his anger over its existence? Or did he spit on it, because he wanted to feel the joy of vandalism?

              I guess everyone who goes over the speed limit, more than twice in their life, derives joy from being a lawbreaker.

              • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                Someone’s a wee bit defensive…

      • Nancy Shrew

        Considering its ubiquitous nature, tobacco is about as easy to get as alcohol. Steal it from your folks.

  • Glasofruix

    We ask people NOT to call or text him (his phone number has been leaked)

    How about a subscription to a wake up call service, at 5AM, everyday, for a year?

    • Tom

      Especially now that he’s asked everyone to stop, that would be harassment, i.e. a crime.

    • JMM

      I posted his page to my Atheist page and one other. I seriously doubt his sincerity. He was about to go to jail possibly, I’d lie to stay out.

      • Benny_Cemoli

        Who are you kidding. 15 years olds do not go to jail. They’re fined and released into the custody of their parents. And it is the parents who end up paying the fines and court costs.

        Nothing will happen unless Mom and Dad get annoyed enough to punish him.

        • Sam Gladimnotabonsaitree Ashto

          Of course 15 year olds can be jailed…

          • meekinheritance

            Not for petty vandalism.

            • Sam Gladimnotabonsaitree Ashto

              Read up on law my friend, they can go to Juvy…

            • Sam Gladimnotabonsaitree Ashto

              Yep they can…

        • Intelligent Donkey

          “Evan Miller and Kuntrell Jackson are lifers, condemned at 14 to spend their lives in prison without the possibility of parole for their involvement in separate murders. Their backers say their sentences are cruel and unusual, leaving them without the second chance the young are so often given.”

          “More than 2,200 people nationwide have been sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for crimes they committed as juveniles — defined as 17 or younger — according to the Equal Justice Initiative in
          Montgomery, Ala.”

          http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/03/15/10670418-14-years-old-too-young-for-life-in-prison?lite

          “John Silva, 15, was convicted of first-degree murder for binding a playmate with elastic bandages and wire so tightly that he suffocated. Today he received the mandatory sentence of life in jail without parole.”

          “Last week, Lionel Tate, 14, received the same sentence for killing a 6-year-old girl by flinging her around a room so hard she suffered a fractured skull, ruptured kidney, broken rib and 32 other injuries.”

          http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=93827&page=1

          “Children as young as 13 years old have been tried as adults and sentenced to die in prison, typically without any consideration of their age or circumstances of the offense. ”

          http://www.eji.org/childrenprison

          • meekinheritance

            Sorry, but murder and petty vandalism are hardly comparable.

          • Drew M.

            I seem to have overlooked the cites pointing to kids being jailed for misdemeanor vandalism. Surely you know of some.

            After all, that is the context in which Benny’s comment was made.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        Misdemeanor vandalism at worst. He’d get the equivalent of a citation and maybe have to clean it up. He wouldn’t even get booked.

        He should, however, be very scared in that he has a post on FB that many people have certainly copied in which he describes needing someone to take a drug test on his behalf. Combined with the post date, it would be easy for his family, coach, employer or whoever to figure out who he was lying to.

      • GubbaBumpkin

        I seriously doubt his sincerity.

        I think it’s reasonable to suspect that the apology is driven by the negative repercussions of his actions, not a sudden moral awakening. But at least it reads like a real apology, not one of those “I’m sorry that anyone was offended by my actions” not-pologies.

  • Michael

    For what it’s worth, his phone number wasn’t leaked. He posted it on Facebook.

    • GubbaBumpkin

      Oh no, a self-leaker!

  • Michael Harrison

    If he’s truly sincere, he will do what he can to remove the stains with his own time and resources.

    • Machintelligence

      A little chlorine bleach and some elbow grease should suffice. Granite is hard, but kind of porous.

  • Sergio Castro

    So if an atheist spat on a bench with a Church-sponsored message on it, we’d be treated just as judiciously. Right? I wish!

    • Stealth Avenue

      Hell no. Pardon the expression. They’d find out where you worked, call for boycotts, etc. etc. You’d be all but run out of town.

  • https://agoldstardad.wordpress.com/ Fozzy

    The fact that a 15 year old is chewing tobacco is just rather sad to me..

    • Jeff See

      It should be sad to everyone. The culture surrounding those who are exposed to users of chewing tobacco, does not lend itself to seeing it as a problem. Childhood use of chewing tobacco is a real issue, that simply doesn’t get addressed as much as it should. It makes too much money for big business, and doesn’t kill nearly enough kids, to make it a problem sensational enough to be addressed in this day and age.

      • Jeff See

        I get thumbed down for saying ‘tobacco is bad’? I guess supporting an accurate statement isn’t as important as dissing someone. Way mature move.

    • Al Beiselmann

      I worked at P. Lorrilard in Louisville one summer making chewing tobacco. They also gave us all the cigarettes we could smoke on the job and a pack to take home. After seeing how cigarettes and chewing tobacco was made, (we sweep up all the shit on the floor and dumped it in), I gave up smoking once and for all. Thank goodness I never chewed. Tobacco is a disgusting habit that killed two of my aunts, one by passive smoke. Please people never touch tobacco in any form.

  • Rick McCrae

    The boy manned up and apologized. Not easy to do at any age. I would guess 15 is about the hardest (would have been for me). Maybe we all learned something. Let it rest.

  • Stealth Avenue

    There is a Christian crime spree happening in this country, of which this is only a small part. So righteous and godly, they are. At least he had the grace to apologize, but I agree… doubtful it will the last time that bench is vandalized by a loving Christian.

    • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

      I’m just shocked it took this long for one of the Prince of Peace and Lord of Love’s holy, sanctified, loving, righteous, and morally upright ambassadors to deface the bench.

      • Al Beiselmann

        Let;s be thankful he didn’t take a sledgehammer to it.

  • Paula M Smolik

    At the top you can see “Two people like this”, which is no surprise

  • Gadfly156

    Good on him for apologizing. Now if he really means it, let him incur the cost for cleaning up the mess he made. Fair is fair.

    • Benny_Cemoli

      The cost would probably be the cost of replacing that piece of stone since that kind of crap will permanently stain the stone.

      • Gadfly156

        Good, let him work it off then. Should keep him occupied and out of trouble for the next 10 years.

        I’m saying this partially tongue-in-cheek — I’m not so draconian-minded as all that (to want to see a teenager stuck with paying off a stupid lapse in judgment for a whole decade) — but I’m trying to make a point that at least some significant gesture or effort toward practical restitution is in order in such matters.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Eh, he should be able to get it polished off. Still expensive, but not nearly so much as replacing the thing.

      • Artor

        No, they should be able to save it by grinding a layer of stone off the surface. Even sandblasting might do it. But yeah, no amount of detergent will get tobacco stains out of marble.
        But yeah, Hillbillyboy should be responsible for paying the repair costs.

        • midnight rambler

          High-pressure water should take it out. It only goes as far as the pores in the rock.

          • Artor

            Marble, aka calcium carbonate, is a very reactive mineral. Persistent stains like tobacco can permanently color the stone. It’s chemically bonded now; it cannot be removed without removing the stone.

            • Machintelligence

              I think it’s granite. The stain should bleach out pretty easily (or it could weather away, since it is organic.)

              • Michael

                The blueprints from the first post about it do indeed say it’s granite.

            • GubbaBumpkin

              Marble, aka calcium carbonate, is a very reactive mineral

              Apropos? The monument is polished granite.

        • Randay

          I would just leave the stains there as a reminder.

  • Sam Kay

    I still think American Atheists should press charges. Sorry, but vandalism isn’t acceptable, and just saying sorry isn’t enough. Letting him get away with it sets a bad precedent.

    • Georgina

      True, plus – if he had done this to a mosque he would be looking at hard time!

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        Yawn.

    • Jeff See

      There isn’t a fine large enough to give him the trouble he’s getting into from family, friends, and trolls. It would just be money he doesn’t have. If you think a punk ass deserves jail time for spit, then you’d have to accept the fact that socially you would have nearly eliminated what already limited potential someone in his demographic would have.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        Er, no, he did it to himself.

        • Jeff See

          Right. He did the act himself. He will probably never punish himself for it; others will have to do that to him.

          Maybe next time try not to read into it so literally. When I say ‘you’d have to accept,,’ I didn’t literally mean that the person who punished them was responsible for the whole kit, what I was meaning was that society, at large, would have to be willing to write this kid off, more or less, if bringing the hammer down on him was the course of action chosen in response to this one act. Which is not inaccurate. I was not saying that he should avoid being held responsible. I was simply trying to display my opinion of the end result, compared to the impact of the original act.

          I thought that would have been clear to people reading the comment.

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

            No, I mean, any negative blowback he’s received is entirely his own fault. He’s written himself off by virtue of his actions.

            Does he have an opportunity to turn it around? Yes, but I seriously doubt he’ll recognize it or take it. I think that he, his peers, and the adults who should be guiding them ALL need to take a step back and get their shit straightened out. Especially the adults, as they are clearly failing to instill values and ethics into these kids.

            I would love to be pleasantly surprised by this kid a few years down the road, but I’m not holding my breath.

            • Jeff See

              Honestly, neither am I.

      • meekinheritance

        Pressing charges doesn’t imply jail time.

        • Jeff See

          It doesn’t even imply there will be a conviction. What it does imply, is the possibility of a conviction, punishable by fines and/or jail time.

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

            Sorry, but that conviction would be a slam-dunk — he bragged about the vandalism, that’s as good as a confession.

            He should be punished, at the very least, with a hefty fine and community service.

  • Don Gwinn

    Either it’ll fade from public memory, or it’ll eventually get taken apart with sledgehammers. I doubt this’ll be the last or the worst.

  • tasteless chap

    He’s only 15 and already chews tobacco? Sigh…..

    • Rob Bos

      It was not uncommon at my high school in Surrey, BC, back in the 90s. Sad. Possiby slightly better than smoking, though oral cancer is scary.

    • Jeff See

      By the time I was his age, I had been using snuff for nearly 10 years. I had a period where I had quit from the ages of 12-14, ish.

      • jferris

        You seem to be making that statement as a badge of honor. You do realize that it is not, correct?

        • Jeff See

          A statement of fact, is not a declaration of pride. Thanks for offering to clear that up for me. You seem to be making that observation out of piety. You realize, that makes you sound like an ass, correct?

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

            Then why do you keep mentioning it?

      • Naughty Harry
        • Jeff See

          Ha ha ha. Apparently you and Mr. Ferris suffer from the same ailment, only he was somewhat more classy about it. Being as it is, all I have to say to you is ..|..

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

            Defensive, much…?

            • Jeff See

              Wow, this is like the second or third reply that consists of ‘defensive etc.,,’. Um, ‘stalker, much’? Or just a fan? Groupie maybe? There’s no way anyone is just that bored. I think you love me.

  • https://www.facebook.com/GentleGiantDK GentleGiant

    Now, this obviously isn’t him, but it’s one of his friends who posted this on the AA Facebook page:
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=601168653260565
    I have a feeling he’s apologizing because of the backlash (now who would have thought something like that would happen when you publically post something like that…?) and hope someone can confirm that he did indeed clean it up as he promised (if that’s even possible).

    • Matt

      Posted 34 minutes ago, from that same person, who claims to be the vandal’s brother.

      ” Hes
      my brother fuck heads! He didnt clean yo shit! Only reason he
      appoligized is cuz some of your members threatened him! U wanna talk law
      we’ll talk law! And yes mary really! I stand where I stand! With or
      wothout my friends!”

      • https://www.facebook.com/GentleGiantDK GentleGiant

        Yup, saw that too. They really do breed them stupid in some places.

        • Matt

          I know, its too bad he’s grown up wothout a proper education

          • Jeff See

            Please tell me that grammatical nightmare of a post is intentional.

      • midnight rambler

        Don’t worry though – he’s “not a satinist”!

        • RowanVT

          That’s too bad. Satin is a wonderful fabric.

          • GubbaBumpkin

            Satin vs. velvet – don’t get me started.

    • Gus Snarp

      If ever there was a troll to be ignored, it’s this clown. At least until someone does real damage to the monument or atheists start suffering harassment, then someone should take a screenshot of this to the police as a starting point for their investigation. I assume AA is saving screen shots of all of this in case real crimes are committed in the future.

      And there’s a lot in his profile that suggests he plans to join the Army, which is sad on two levels. One that we have a culture that creates ignorant kids like him with no future, and the second, that our military that is the face so many people around the world see of America, is so fully of angry, ignorant kids with such poor judgment.

  • Matthew Stone

    It’s “disrespectful” for him to spit on the AA monument? Perhaps that was his intent, but with the next natural and predictable, not God-directed, rainstorm his act of “disrespect” would have been washed away. It would have been better for AA to react to this “disrespect” as the miniscule act it was, showing that it was well beneath anyone’s serious notice by not giving it the knee-jerk reaction of a threatened police report. Would AA file a police report on birds that “vandalize” the monument by crapping on it as they fly by? Seriously? “Vandalism” because he spat on the monument? Let it go… If he’d permanently defaced it, sure. Then it’s destruction of property. But spitting on it is a juvenile, childish act, as was his posting it publicly on the internet, but it’ll wash off and nobody has to lift a finger to make it go away. Pressing charges for an imagined slight is absolutely no different a censoring action than when the religious move to oppress nonreligious actions and speech.

    He did it, he owned up to it (after being publicly outed and embarrassed for doing it), he apologized. Let the rain wash it off as the temporary and non-injurious act it was…

    • Matt

      Tobacco spit doesn’t just “wash off” of marble with rainwater. Those stains will be there until they are professionally cleaned off.

      • Matthew Stone

        Well, then someone cleans it. Done. But there’s no need for police reports or criminal charges. Perhaps asking the young gentleman to go clean the monument (presuming he lives in that city and wasn’t just visiting) might be a nice method of restitution, based solely on respect for him as a person, on the development of mutual respect between believers and nonbelievers, as a demonstration of his commitment to not giving in to such juvenile acts in the future.

        What a wonderful opportunity it would have been for AA to just say “y’know, kids are kids, and it’s understandable that this poor kid, indoctrinated and not really knowing better, acted out.” Then, what kind of wonderfully cooperative photo op would it have been to end the story with one of nonbelievers being shown genuine Christian kindness by the Christian vandal not only cleaning up the mess he made, but by acknowledging that though we may think differently about things, we can all still share this planet peacefully.

        Yeah, missed opportunity. Instead, “we’ll call the cops on you” was the response. Over spit. Not paint, or acid, or physical damage, just some saliva and tobacco. Stains that will surely be minor in comparison to the bird droppings and environmental pollution that will build up on the monument in time.

        • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

          Paint or acid might be easier to clean off.

          The ‘young gentleman’ in question has offered to clean it up, and AA has accepted his offer and offered to not go to the police in turn. He was (and probably still is) a stupid kid, but what he did is a crime. It’s perfectly valid to scare him and, if he shows no repentance, actually press charges.

        • JA

          “”What a wonderful opportunity it would have been for AA to just say
          “y’know, kids are kids, and it’s understandable that this poor kid,
          indoctrinated and not really knowing better, acted out.”””

          And do you expect that Christians would’ve reacted like you say had some kid spat a wad of tobacco juice on the Ten Commandments monument?

    • Stephen Walker

      Birds have no concern for where their droppings land and there is no intent to do harm. This 15-year-old clearly demonstrated malicious intent. Yes, it was a juvenile act, and that’s why we have the judicial body known as juvenile court.

      • Matthew Stone

        At some point nonbelievers *must* be “bigger” than the people we’re up against… If we don’t demonstrate a far more evolved and developed sense of right and wrong, without a completely clinical approach and with a hint of understanding about human nature (it’s hard, after all, to have the veil snatched away, especially when the story you’ve been told all your life is so heavily reinforced in all aspects of modern culture), then we’ll never be able to demonstrate why *our* perspective on things is a better alternative to bronze age boogeyman stories…

        Yeah, yeah, he spit on the monument. What’s being “disrespected?” The rock the monument is made of? Specific people? Or just our opinion at large? Can an opinion be “disrespected?” If we say it can, we take that step on the slippery slope of granting that Muslims are correct when they say Mohammad is “disrespected” with cartoons of him.

        The “monument” (one I neither voted for, contributed to, or helped erect) can’t be “disrespected” any more than the Bible, the Koran, or the American flag can be “disrespected.” Free speech allows demonstrations and actions as well as verbal announcements. He spat on a rock, and that’s really all it amounts to. Getting upset by his “disrespect” of our disbelief is virtually identical to believers saying we’re disrespectful of their beliefs when we criticize them in whatever manner we choose.

        We must be better than them. Always. Getting pissy, filing a police report over some minor thing, just too much and it makes us look petty…

        • GCT

          Free speech does not cover vandalism. You might not think it’s a big deal, but it is against the law, so others do happen to think it’s a big deal.

        • Jeff See

          “At some point nonbelievers *must* be “bigger” than the people we’re up against…”

          Damn right. Thanks for that. Apparently the only difference in the camps, according to some, is the chants sung around the camp fire.

  • Michael Harrison

    http://home.howstuffworks.com/how-to-remove-nicotine-cigar-pipe-smoke-and-cigarette-stains5.htm

    Masonry

    Follow these steps to remove tobacco stains from Bluestone, Brick,
    Concrete, Flagstone, Granite, Limestone, Masonry Tile, Slate, Terrazzo:

    Mix a solution of washing soda and water.

    Gently brush the stain away with a cloth or soft-bristled brush.

    Rinse with clear water and allow to dry.

  • Jonathan Charles Gee

    I’d still file a report…he got caught and is trying to weasel out of being punished.

    • CodeMonkeys

      I don’t recall tobacco chew being legal at 15, either.

      • Jeff See

        It’s not legal for someone under the age of 18 to purchase tobacco. There aren’t many laws restricting the use of chew tobacco by kids, and what few laws are present, are hardly, if ever, enforced.

    • Randay

      I disagree. Teenagers do a lot of dumb things; I know by experience. After his apology, I think we should just let things rest. Having a minor get into the “justice” system, particularly for such a minor offense, is no way to help him. He is smart enough to say that his age isn’t an excuse. He seems to have learned something and I wish him the best in the future. If we show him tolerance now, he may well be able to measure the intolerance of those who influenced to commit the act.

  • Pat

    The phone number was not leaked,he has it posted on some of the older posts on his page……..dumbass

    • Mike

      Just the fact some people take the time to hunt through his page to find his number then call/text to harass him, shows how insecure and little these people are. I wonder how many of those threats were intent to do him harm or even kill him, we’re just not being told…

      • John

        “Just the fact some people take the time to hunt through his page to find
        his number then call/text to harass him, shows how insecure and little
        these people are. I wonder how many of those threats were intent to do
        him harm or even kill him, we’re just not being told…”

        I think you’re confusing atheists with Christians. THEY’RE the ones who threaten and harrass others who don’t believe as they do. “Persecution” of Christians is almost totally non-existent in this country.

  • Wayne Siemund

    The real problem is this kid’s parents. Clearly they are not performing their job or this kid would not have gotten into tobacco or become a vandal.
    Any parent worth their value knows that teens have to be watched and guided to avoid the temptations of destructive culture.

    • Jeff See

      Thank you for placing the responsibility of tobacco use by kids on the proper persons. Apparently, when someone uses tobacco as a kid, at least as far as the majority of respondents here are concerned, it’s a sign of a persons fabric, being of lesser material, from birth.

  • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

    Who leaked the number? They should apologize too.

    • JohnnieCanuck

      He did.

  • Ryan Hite

    Wait…. I thought atheists were mean people? Lol

  • Outcast Kyle

    AA should press charges and make an example out of him so anyone else wants to do the same; it will think think it twice. before doing it. They’re being pushovers by accepting his (most probably insincere) apology, so if they press charges he will really regret it and still he will have to clean the monument, and also he will be fined. Too bad public whipping are not a punishment anymore.

    Also I wish that if he find an atheist on the street, the atheist spit some tobacco on his face so he will know how it feel like.

    • JohnnieCanuck

      I can kind of see why you feel like you are an outcast.

      You know, they still do corporal punishments like public whipping in many Muslim countries. It’s part of some Sharia law systems. Do you really approve bringing it to your country?

      • Outcast Kyle

        Idon’t feel like an outcast; more like like a man in a planet of dogs. And yeah, I don’t agree often with Muslims, but at least they have the right kind of punishments for those who break the law. That kind of punishments is a better deterrent and makes more unlikely to commit crimes again, so I totally support it.

        • https://www.facebook.com/GentleGiantDK GentleGiant

          You’re right, it’s a huge deterrent. That’s why they don’t have any crime any more in islamic countries…
          Same way that the death penalty is a huge deterrent, hence why those US states with it on the books are now murder free.
          /sarcasm

          • Outcast Kyle

            Like I explained to that other inbred retard. When you make the sentence as gruesome and horrifying as posible it’s when it Works. Also Works marvels for avoiding repeating offenders, since you can’t steal after being caught more tan two times.

            • https://www.facebook.com/GentleGiantDK GentleGiant

              Clearly you’re of the same intellectual prowess of the guy who did the spitting above, but with better spelling and grammar, I’ll give you that.

              And/or you’re obviously trolling (because nobody can be THAT stupid, right?).

              • Outcast Kyle

                Yeah right, I0m as intelligent as guy that commits vandalism. And what happened when you woke up? I guess that creating a society where everyone obeys the law is pretty stupid, right?

                • https://www.facebook.com/GentleGiantDK GentleGiant

                  Except it won’t, but you seem impervious to that kind of logic and evidence.

                • Outcast Kyle

                  You don’t know since it hasn’t really be applied in that way. Make them shudder at the mere though of punishment and the’ll do everything alright.

                • https://www.facebook.com/GentleGiantDK GentleGiant

                  Clearly you’re not a student of history nor even contemporary penal systems in some parts of the world.
                  Neither do you apparently understand the socio-economic reasons why some people continue to do some criminal acts even when faced with very harsh punishments.
                  So, my suggestion is to educate yourself and go troll elsewhere.

                • Guest

                  why don’t you enlighten us all and cite some sources for your claims genius?

                • https://www.facebook.com/GentleGiantDK GentleGiant

                  Why don’t you make a proper account instead of trolling anonymously. Oh and learn to use Google or a library to do some rudimentary research.

            • baal

              Flagged. Your argument is terrible and factually in error but your gratuitous _ist insults need to go.

              • Outcast Kyle

                You just sounded like some kind of teacher’s pet. Good thing you didn’t went to my school, otherwise, you would have received wedgies daily. You’re just a bunch of sticks.

                • baal

                  Kyle says: “You’re just a bunch of sticks.”

                  Baal is curious:
                  “Faggot or fascist?”
                  Either way, grats @ name calling.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  Obviously you were too busy being a bully to actually learn anything about spelling or grammar…

                • Outcast Kyle

                  At least I didn’t spent that time being an idiot, unlike you.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  If I spent that time being an idiot, I wouldn’t have graduated.

                  Of course, you wouldn’t know about that, having dropped out in grade 5…

                • Outcast Kyle

                  I guess I’ll to notify my college and high school about dropping out. Pretty neither of them knew when the gave my degree.

    • GCT

      Public whippings are a violation of the Constitution, especially for an act that didn’t physically harm anyone. Further, I wasn’t aware that your face is actually the surface of that bench.

      • Outcast Kyle

        Then, the Constitution should be changed to allow it, it’s the great thing about laws. If we don’t punish even the smallest crimes with full force, then, we’re going to have repeating offenders or it will escalate. He’s 15 and he’s already committing vandalism and doing drugs, and it won’t surprise anyone if he is already doing things like shoplifting. It wouldn’t surprise me to hear in a couple of years that he was arrested for mugging someone or being caught doing meth. So if we whip him 50 times and he will really think it before doing something illegal, and put that on TV so anyone knows what happens when you break the law.

        You see cut a thief’s hand after you caught him stealing and he will really think it about doing it again, and if he’s stupid enough to do it again, he won’t be able to do it anymore after a second time.

        • GCT

          So, you wish to repeal the eighth amendment? Got it.

          Do you know the first rule of holes? I think you should follow it. I’m sure you never did anything stupid or wrong when you were growing up? I’m pretty sure you did (as everyone does) so I guess that means I should assume you are mugging people, doing meth, etc, right?

          Also, it’s a known fact that harsher jail sentences and capital punishment do not deter crime. It still happens.

          • Outcast Kyle

            Exactly. Isn’t hard to understand.
            And yeah I’ve never did anything stupid or ilegal because I was taught to use my head. Never did drugs, never smoked, never tasted a drop of alcohol until I was 18, never dived withouth license or permit, etc. He’s already chewing tobacco and commiting vandalism, so that would’nt be something really improbable.
            Also, harsher sentences don’t work because they aren’t harsh enough. Instead of lethal injection (something we use to put down dogs. We kill criminals the same way we keep our best friends from suffering) use a badly sharpened axe, then put that shit on national TV during primetime, and you’ll see how it will help. You don’t rule trough force. You rule trough the fear of using forcé.

            • GCT

              I highly doubt that you’ve never done anything stupid or illegal. Ever driven more than the speed limit? Shoplifted something as a child? Etc. If you are completely without fault, I suggest you tell your local church so that they can worship you as the second coming. You are making a error in your logic called the slippery slope fallacy. Not everyone who smokes, drinks (below drinking age), or does anything else you that you personally disapprove of will go on to be guilty of other “crimes”.

              Secondly, you must be a white male I’m assuming, because you don’t seem to fear being wrongly accused of something and being publicly whipped, losing your hand, or being publicly beheaded.

              Lastly, your idea that harsh sentences don’t deter crime because they simply aren’t harsh enough is not supported by the evidence. Do you honestly think that criminals think to themselves that lethal injection is not so bad, but they would definitely stop if they were to be hanged instead? That’s laughable. People who advocate rule through force and the fear of force are no better than petty tyrants and genocidal maniacs. Shame on you.

              • Outcast Kyle

                You guessed right; I’ve never speeded nor passed a red light and I’ve never shoplifted. You don’t need to be a saint in order to do that, you just need to be a decent law-abiding citizen with some common sense. But I guess speeding and shoplifting are a pretty normal thing to do in the youth when you are raised by inbred crack addicts.

                And you guessed wrong, though I’m male, I’m not White, but I don’t fear being accused of something because I don’t break any law. You can avoid a lot of things when you’re an honest productive member of society.

                And who talked about hanging? I’m talking about worst things like beheading or eviserating alive; criminals like rapists or murderers don’t desere anything less. They won’t fear death, they’ll fear the suffering. When you’re making wished for death it’s when you’re really instilling fear on future criminals. And thanks for the tyrant thing, those are the ones that get things to work.

                • GCT

                  Not only are you full of shit, but you seem to be proud of it. You also seem to be proud of being a sociopath. Perhaps you’ve never heard of “stop and frisk” but any non-white advocating this sort of scheme is also advocating a really dumb idea for their own personal well-being. In short, your ideas are idiotic and unsupportable.

                • Outcast Kyle

                  Well,, actually you’re the one full of shit. Just because you are shoplifting, lawbreaking scumbag doesn’t mean that everyone else should be like that; maybe if somenespanked you as a child or flogged you the first time you stole something, then, you wouldn’t be such a failure.
                  And guess what. I have never been detained by anybody because I’m a model citizen that obeys the law and I show it in every way, so not even at airport someone frisked me. So keep trying justifying your criminal behavior like an idiot. I hope one day that bites you in the but. You’ll think about about what I said when you drop the soap in prison.

                • GCT

                  Nice. Sociopathy and rape jokes. You’re certainly a model citizen all right. LOL.

                • Outcast Kyle

                  You say it like it’s a bad think. With a society so fucked up as the one we have right now, I conder it a compliment.
                  And yeah, guess what? Rape jokes are totally legal so I can make. When you show a law that forbids doing them, I’ll stop it.

                • https://www.facebook.com/GentleGiantDK GentleGiant

                  Legal? Yes.
                  Clear signs of being a degenerate douchebag? You bet.

                • Outcast Kyle

                  Which, guess what? It’s no ilegal.

                • Vanadise

                  I guess the thing we’ve all learned from this thread is that just following the law doesn’t make you a decent person.

                • GCT

                  Yes, being a sociopath is a bad thing. Wanting to be a tyrant is a bad thing. Having no empathy is a bad thing. Using incredibly bad logical arguments is a bad thing. Ignoring the counter-arguments made against you is a bad thing. Ignoring the evidence is a bad thing. Ignoring the fact that society is more peaceful now than ever (as pointed out in Pinker’s new book) is a bad thing. Making rape jokes is a bad thing. Trying to equivocate between a bad thing and something illegal is a bad thing. Being a d-bag is a bad thing. Using “retard” as a pejorative is a bad thing. But, apparently you’ve never done anything bad in your life, so you must be the second coming of the mythical Jesus.

                  But, hey, what do I know? I’m an atheist, so I’ve been ODing on crack while eating and sacrificing babies. Apparently I’ve also been having sex with my immediate family and mugging people. I wonder, with all my various nefarious activities how I’m finding time to live, write comments to counter your stupid ideas, etc.

                • Outcast Kyle

                  I don’t really know or care how you do it. You were the one admitting doing those thing.
                  And yeah if you don’t break anything goes and it’s ok. As I said, show the law that makes ilegal all those things an I’ll stop doing them. Meanwhile keep living your fantasy of a pacific society. When someone does what I said, the people of that country will really experience peace. The only thing better tan that would be having brain implants sice birth that send you a paralyzing pain when you break the law, but that’s still to far ahead. Who knows maybe we’ll have that in a couple of decades.

                • Vanadise

                  Do you base your entire morality on what is legal? What would you do if you were somewhere where there was no law?

                • Outcast Kyle

                  First, whatever needed in order to survive; then, whatever I please. Sincé a place with no law would most probably devoid of any other humans, no one would care.

                • GCT

                  LOL, because it has worked so well in history. What a joke. If you’re an atheist, please don’t let other people know, because it would be embarrassing for me to be associated with you.

                • Outcast Kyle

                  I say the same thing about you. It would be a shame being compare with you.

                • GCT

                  If what is legal = what is moral, then perhaps you think slavery was moral at the time it was legal? Perhaps you think Jim Crow laws were moral at the time they were in effect? Being a non-white, one would think that you might be sensitive to such things, but that would be assuming that you’re not a sociopath and/or have thought about them for any length of time.

                  Your logical flaws are still exposed and you’ve done nothing to rebut those arguments, so I’ll consider you out of ideas and/or simply trolling.

                • Outcast Kyle

                  I’m just playing with you since I won this argument since the first post and you amuse me with your defense that is like a cat defeding himself while outside down.
                  Morality has no worth if it’s not backed up by law. Also I find pathetic and funny your obssession with race. Only legal things matter, id there’s no law to back up something, then, it has no importance whatsoever.

                • GCT

                  Trolly troll is trolling.

                • Outcast Kyle

                  Thanks for accepting your defeat. Now you are wiser, and maybe one day you’ll less stupid. Now go and try not to break the law.

                • GCT

                  I’ll do my utmost not to “brak” the law. “What time is it?” It’s rather hard not to though. The craving for fresh babies to eat and sacrifice is strong.

                  Now, go troll elsewhere.

                • Outcast Kyle

                  You’re the one trolling. I’m just telling my opinion and you’re the retarded that can’t stand something that gets out of your little dogma. Now let us the freethinkers discuss ideas and piss off.

                • Michael Harrison

                  I will say this to you once, then wash my hands of you until you grow up. The fact that you see a discussion as something that you can win shows that you are very immature; you are what is known in the gaming community as a munchkin, defined by Wikipedia as “a player who plays what is intended to be a non-competitive game . . . in an aggressively competitive manner.”

                  As for alternative motivations, I can only speak for myself: I tend to have three reasons for visiting online comments sections–I wish to test my notions so that I may correct myself where I am wrong; I wish to learn new things from other people; and I find misinformation annoying. However, I am sure others here feel similarly. If you’re here simply to build yourself up by scoring points according to some system that exists only in your head, engaging you would be a waste of time. As I said when I started, I will ignore you until you have shown some sign of maturity, and not a moment more.

                • Outcast Kyle

                  And here’s the prize for the comment that no one cares and has nothing to do with the topic. if you’re not going to comment about the topic at hand then fuck off, because no one gives a shit about what you think.

                • baal

                  “it has no importance whatsoever.”
                  Other that being thought a fool and socially ostracized. I don’t count that as nothing.

                • Outcast Kyle

                  Many geniouses have passed as fools on their time. And you talk about being ostracized like it’s a bad thing; most probably you’re a wakling that cannot do anything by himself.

                • baal
                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  Says the douchenozzle who can’t spell to save his own hide.

                • Outcast Kyle

                  Says the female canis familiaris that never had an argument, so the only thing she can do is pointing out a couple of typos and (nonexistent) and being unable to use reason.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  You’re the one utterly incapable of using reason, kid. You’ll note that your “arguments”, in addition to being repeatedly debunked, are no more than petty juvenile insults and authoritarian bullshit.

                  Also, it’s “typos”. If you won’t learn to spell, at least learn how to use the spelling checker.

                • Outcast Kyle

                  My spelling checker is not configured for english since I write in other languages more frequently; also, I don’t really check my writing a lot when I’m discussing (more like having fun) with idiots.

                • Jude

                  Successful troll trolls successfully.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  It’s embarrassing to share a planet with him.

                • GCT

                  LOL.

                • baal

                  Kyle is still a human so there aren’t other planets to send him too. I’m a bit of a hard liner on not othering folks* even when they are as odious as Kyle is. I rather he get banned or educated to at least not make (at best) useless and offensive comments.

                  *I find I have to check myself on this regularly.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  Uh, it’s not “othering” to point out that someone’s behavior is so embarrassing that you’d rather they moved to another galaxy.

                • Outcast Kyle

                  Typical libtard BS “I defend free speech until someone says something I don’t agree”. So much for a freethinker.

                • baal

                  “Typical libtard”
                  Kyle, namecalling is a giant “I lost the argument” flag. Let’s put it in terms you might like. You just sounded like you said, “Who is John Galt?”.

                • Outcast Kyle

                  Since giving arguments was futile; I resorted to have a little fun because I got tired of throwing pearls to the pigs. I guess Zach Osborne had more fanboys than I imagined,

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  You seem to be having some mood issues. Is your blood sugar low? Hypoglycemia is a pain in the ass. You may want to go scream upstairs at your mom for another sandwich.

                • Outcast Kyle

                  Sorry, but your trolling attempt failed miserably. Try not to repeat what the other trolls already said. Better luck next time.

                • baal

                  There is a world of difference between decency and legal.

                • Outcast Kyle

                  Law gives order, therefore, it’s useful. Order it’s what we need to obtain by any means. Decency has no worth unles you need to use someone. But when you are autonomous you don’t need to care about that.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  Then go be “autonomous” somewhere else.

                  Like, oh… the middle of Death Valley, in August.

                • Outcast Kyle

                  LOL. You’re kinda funny. I guess that’s the only reason nobody has slapped you to put you in your place. Now let the grown-ups talk and be good.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  I’m a survivor of domestic violence.

                  You are a basement-dwelling child who has no business being online — go run to your mommy, little boy, I’m sure she’ll give you a biscuit for being such a good little Internet Tough Guy.

                • Outcast Kyle

                  Yeah guess that having my own appartment counts as living in a basement. You really suck as a stalker. You’ll be better off being an idiot, at least you’re a profesional at it. Now you’re starting to bore me, so I suggest you to try amusing me in some other way.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  A basement apartment is still a basement, you know.

                  On that note, I’m done with ickle trollikins — you amused me much the same way a mouse amuses a cat, but now I’m hungry, and you’re not good eating.

                  *flicks tail*

                  *wanders off to find something to eat*

                • Outcast Kyle

                  Thinking that apartments have basements must be a new level of retardation. Though I find funny you act like a cat after I made you my bitch. But go on dear troll. Fetch a bone because I’m done with you and you already bored me.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  And not a single fuck was given…

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Snerk. It thinks it’s autonomous.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  Good GOD, you’re a douchebag!

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  He always has been. I’ve quit replying to him because of it. No one could possibly be that stupid, so I’ve put him in the “obvious troll is obvious” category. To think he actually believes anything he says would … well, it would ruin some of what little faith in humanity I’ve got left.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  I’m wondering who the hell is upvoting his comments.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  A guest who is too ashamed of their opinions to use even a pseudonym here?

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  Someone needs to check their privilege, big time…

                • Outcast Kyle

                  typical libtard response.

              • Guest

                way to play the race card. You’re obviously a dark skinned person that likes to use that old double standard you all enjoy so much. No racism but white racism, right? People like you make me sick.

                • GCT

                  Oh look. Outcast Kyle has a sock puppet in order to make it look like others support him. LOL. Trolly troll is trolling.

                • Outcast Kyle

                  I didnt read other answers until now. Since you have no proof it was me I guess you’re not really a sceptic. But now I’m glad to that there’s at least one intelligent person on this place.

          • Guest

            that’s because we don’t enforce capital punishment nearly as much as we should. And don’t give me that crap about “well, what about the innocent people that are mistakenly put to death?” because it rarely ever happens. Trying to rehab a serial killer, rapist or child abuser is a lost cause. Why support and treat these scum better than homeless people for the rest of their pathetic lives? We’d be better off eliminating those traits from society. Capital punishment may be the one thing Texas does right.

        • Outcast Kyle

          it looks like you are the moron. If you had read everything you would have noted that leftist are crying wimps and that I’m not associated with them in any way. You look more leftist with your disdain of order. Now keep going and try to be less of a retard.

  • Andrew M. Byrne

    Really important that folks stop judging this kid. We all have made stupid decisions as part of growing up- part of reason is empathy. Part of empathy is reason.

    • Nancy Shrew

      Perhaps, but I’m guessing most of us weren’t stupid enough to record those decisions.

    • Gus Snarp

      I don’t know, I think we get to judge him as long as we don’t issue a life sentence. No one should be harassing him, or anyone else. That’s unacceptable behavior, but yeah, I’ve judged him based on his actions, his inability to write in the English language, and his failure to understand social media privacy issues. So what? My judgment doesn’t hurt him, nor does anyone else’s as long as they don’t do anything to him. I don’t think that’s anything to do with empathy. No one should act to hurt him, but nothing stops me judging. Nor will it, nor should it, stop a potential employer from deciding that he’s a liability in the workplace and not hiring him. Ten years from now, they should probably ignore this youthful indiscretion, but right now he’s still the youth that made it.

      • Michael Gmirkin

        Hey, he should just be glad he’s not in Singapore. He might get a caning or two. ;)

        Are we too lenient? (I kid, of course…)

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    Gah, they should at least make him pay for the clean up.

  • Mabans

    Now lets address the issue of his chewing Tabacco..

    • Gus Snarp

      Yes, it seems that spitting on a monument isn’t the first, or even the most ignorant decision he’s made. And the long term health issues he’s going to have will be far worse punishment than anything he’d get for spitting on a bench. I wonder how his parents feel about his behavior?

  • Dave G.

    In today’s world, I doubt it’s the worst thing that will happen. Vandalizing things today has become a form of speech unfortunately. Happens to churches now almost all the time. Three stories in as many months in our neck of the woods. A shame.

  • Gus Snarp

    This kid and some of his Facebook supporters just make me sad. They’re probably hot shit at their high school, but everything they say and do shows they’ve got no real future at all.

  • Jeff See

    It’s been made clear to me today, that when commenting, on this particular blog site at least, that I may have to stick to simpler stuff, like ‘LoL’ or ‘yeah, that’s right!’, or endure the wrath of people who are unaware that some things, like chew tobacco addiction, are a multifaceted problem.

    Apparently there’s a lot of confusion about children and the cultural impact of chewing tobacco use, that pervades poor areas in our country. I’ve gained the impression that while cigarette users, who are, of course, victims of big business, and, as such, are helpless in their plight; a chew tobacco user was born bad, and destined for ruin. I would have thought more people would be open to the reality of the impact that tobacco addiction had on our country’s youth, and the complexity with which this problem exists and operates in.

    I would love to be as narrow in focus and empathy as some who’ve commented here; it has to be easier to go through life that way.

    • Michael Harrison

      Oh, please. I saw exactly one person that was clearly judging the kid for tobacco use. The rest could easily be interpreted as shock or concern that someone so young was using chew.

    • Gus Snarp

      For the record, I feel exactly the same way about cigarettes as I do about chewing tobacco. If anything, I’m more judgmental about cigarettes. And don’t even get me started on cigars.

      Here’s the thing. Addiction is a multifaceted and complex problem. Cultural influences are important, advertising, peer pressure, lack of education, the list goes on and on. But nonetheless, using tobacco is a mark of ignorance. Ignorance is not automatically an insult, it a lack of knowledge. It’s something that can be fixed. People who start using tobacco are ignorant of its effects. They are likely to be ignorant of a whole lot of other things as well, since good information on tobacco is widely disseminated at this point. So these kids aren’t born bad or destined for ruin therefore they chew tobacco. They chew tobacco, which is one marker, along with poor command of the language and unacceptable public behavior, that demonstrate that they have not been equipped with the skills to succeed in wider society, therefore they are destined for ruin, if they don’t change the path their on. But as Led Zeppelin said, “There’s still time to change the road you’re on.”

      Meanwhile, if a positive image of tobacco use and the belief that it’s not only culturally acceptable, but a positive attribute, is contributing to the continued use of tobacco (in all its forms) by young people, then only by making it clear that tobacco use is not socially acceptable can we change that. So yeah, I will always send the message that using tobacco is disgusting, ignorant, uncool, socially unacceptable behavior.

      My thoughts on cigars, summed up by a more eloquent person (NSFW language): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rY1eXnbB1Mg

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        Some of us picked up the habit (smoking) in response to severely stressful situations. I, at the time, was pretty much being held hostage in my own home by my ex.

  • Guest

    I want people to take this opportunity to research how pervasive chewing tobacco is, in this country, among the rural and the poor. I think you would be surprised at how prevalent it is, especially among kids. It’s just not considered to be ‘bad’, in some parts of the world, even though it very much is.

    I’m personally surprised at how, and by how much, the subject matter has affected me and my input in this comment section.

    • axelbeingcivil

      Yeah, my first thought when I read this was “What’s a teen doing with chewing tobacco?”

  • Sean

    Typical religious person who becomes unhinged at the thought of people not believing in his irrational views.

  • Sean

    The kid should be in court right now, regardless of whether or not he apologized.

  • Alvaro Fidel Martinez

    As a Christian, I’m deeply ashamed by this. That was a horrible, horrible thing to do!

    • Alvaro Fidel Martinez

      That’s truly despicable As a believer (and ex-atheist), I don’t care whether you’re Christian or Atheist, that makes my stomach turn over.

      Intolerance, especially of that nature — in either direction — is horrible. I hope he truly repented for vandalizing that American Atheist bench or monument. Well, people can change; let’s hope for the best.

  • klhayes

    Love it…vandalizing in the name of Christ….sheesh

  • Smith_90125

    Just because it’s wrong to form a lynch mob doesn’t mean it’s wrong to prosecute under the law. Most certainly charges should be filed and the idiot prosecuted, regardless of how sorry he is. Enforcing the law is not a vindictive act.

  • John Kieffer

    Same privileged, hillbilly, ignorant, bible thumping evangelical mindset that came knocking on atheist church/state separation activist EllenBeth Wachs’ door a few miles away in Lakeland in March 2011.

    This time it was good-ole-boy bible-thumping Sheriff Grady Judd.

    Or more accurately, a dozen of his SWAT garbed deputies that he sent to arrest her, jail her and search her home for challenging him over his Christmas PR stunt transfer/gifting of jail basketball goals (taxpayer property) to eight area churches.

    The crime? EllenBeth, a retired attorney, who was also a plaintiff in a prayer lawsuit against a city in Sheriff Judd’s county, had signed her name with “ESQ” on her public records request of the Sheriff’s expenses entailed in that basketball goal PR stunt. (The mayor of the city she was suing, the sheriff’s attorney and current Clerk of Courts were affiants in that arrest – they said EllenBeth seemed knowledgeable of the law).

    And again in May 2011, Sheriff Judd’s deputies came knocking. This time it was to arrest her and put her into solitary confinement in Grady Judd’s jail for a week. The crime? Her neighbor said that he and his kid had heard a sexual sounding noise coming from her bedroom over a month prior.

    After EllenBeth filed a Federal harassment lawsuit against this sheriff were these bogus, retaliatory Christian motivated charges dismissed.

    But the lingering harm that this good-ole-boy Christian Sheriff (and the evangelical community that facilitated his retaliatory acts) has done to EllenBeth can never be washed away as easily as tobacco spit on a bench.


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